STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education integrates the core disciplines that enable students to solve problems, be creative, think with their hands, work together, and articulate ideas – important 21st-century skills students need to be successful.
While most educators would agree STEM education is important, integrating it into an already full curriculum schedule can seem daunting. But teaching STEM doesn’t have to be complicated. As STEAM Powered Family notes, “The best STEM learning is hands-on and helps students learn to solve problems in fun, meaningful ways” (“Homeschool STEM”). And homeschooling, which typically lends itself to more open-ended learning than traditional classrooms, is a perfect vehicle for STEM activities.
Let It STEM Naturally
STEM projects can be added to just about any part of your day or curriculum, so don’t feel the need to create rigid, structured curriculum lessons. Instead, seize the opportunities that come up throughout the day or week. “How to Integrate STEM into Your Homeschool” has the following suggestions:
- Make a discovery jar or box where students can put questions they have about any of the STEM subjects. Once a week, or as time allows, research a topic together as part of your day.
- Find field trip opportunities that enable students to see STEM in action such as tours of manufacturing facilities, architecture firms, energy companies, or research labs.
- Connect your children’s interests to STEM topics. Whether a child wants to be a pilot, an engineer, an artist, an astronaut, a race car driver, a chef, a baseball player, an author, or any other number of choices, the beauty of STEM is that you can use it to give students an inside look at future careers. For inspiration, check out these blog posts that demonstrate how easily STEM fits into everyday life:
- “Five easy steps to get started teaching drones”
- “Bridging art and engineering after school”
- “Aviation Day: The history of flight”
- “Countdown to liftoff: How rockets launch into space”
- “Ready, Set, STEM! The science of dragsters”
- “Hamburgers: Exploring the basics of burgers, grilling, and STEM”
- “Teaming up with STEM: How sports and learning connect”
- “Once upon a STEM story – Building STEM skills with fairy tales”
Use Those Resources!
STEM learning works best when it’s hands on, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend valuable time creating hands-on projects for your students. Pitsco has an entire lineup of hands-on kits, packs, and activities perfect for the homeschool classroom. From Try This kits to STEM Explorer, Creator, and Innovator packs to Arduino Education Student Kits, Smart Buddies™ kits, and more, we have easy-to-integrate solutions guaranteed to feed the imagination of all your STEM learners!
But don’t take our word for it. We recently had 40 members of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew take a look at some of our STEM and coding solutions. Read their reviews and decide for yourself what works best for your homeschool.
Relax and STEM On!
However you decide to integrate STEM into your homeschool, just remember to enjoy it! “The most important thing about bringing STEM to your homeschool lessons,” says STEAM Powered Family, “is to . . . have fun doing it! Children always learn best when they are engaged and enjoying their lessons.”